Move to ban alcohol for non-Muslims in Pakistan rejected

As per the existing legislation, non-Muslims can drink alcohol, but they must get a permit from the government and pay a fee.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Wed 23 Jul 2014, 8:19 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:07 AM

The federal law ministry and a parliamentary panel on Monday opposed a bill moved by the chief of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and lawmaker Maulana Mohammed Khan Shirani regarding the ban on alcohol for non-Muslims.

The law ministry in its draft, termed the bill unjustifiable, unreasonable and misconceived. “The bill moved by Shirani will not serve any purpose and must be vehemently opposed.”

The bill seeks to amend clause (h) of Article 37 of the Constitution which reads, “prevent the consumption of alcoholic liquor otherwise than for medicinal and, in the case of non-Muslims, religious purposes.” Commenting on the bill, the law ministry stated that in all the constitutions of the country the alcohol was allowed for non-Muslims and it is against the principal of policy to modify this clause.

As per the existing legislation, non-Muslims can drink alcohol, but they must get a permit from the government and pay a fee. As per the permit, they get a fixed quota of alcohol every month. The permit holder must renew the permit every year. The government fixes the quota based on a person’s income. The permit is not issued without a religious certificate.

Shirani, who is a leader of the government’s ally Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in the lower house of the parliament, had earlier come under severe fire for his controversial decrees particularly on child marriage.

news@khaleejtimes.com


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